Hospital equipment being used by medical teams involved in combating the epidemic of coronavirus, a strain now named COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation, started to arrive this week in Macau and the cities of the Greater Bay, sent from Portugal by the Quinta da Marmeleira company owned by businessman Wu Zhiwei.
The shipment of tens of thousands of masks, gloves, anti-contamination suits and other protective material by the wine production company followed an international appeal by the Chinese Government, faced with the urgent need to restock these materials, which are being used in large quantities to contain the epidemic.
Speaking to Macauhub, the Wu Zhiwei, who is also vice-president of the Portugal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the purpose of sending the material is, “to help the relevant departments of the Chinese government to obtain these high-quality medical supplies to support the anti-epidemic protection of medical staff on the front line and to save human lives.”
“The epidemic is severe and complicated: we must actively participate in coordination with various governmental measures, make all efforts to control the epidemic, prevent the spread of the epidemic and to focus on human lives,” said the businessman.
Portuguese wine company Quinta da Marameleira, owned by Wu Zhiwei, is one of the main producers of wine in the Carregado region of Portugal, municipality of Alenquer, north of Lisbon.
In November 2019, on the sidelines of the 2nd International Exhibition of Imports from China in Shanghai, it signed a strategic partnership with Chinese state distribution group Nam Kwong, which will lead to an increase in the entry of Portuguese wines in mainland China.
According to Wu Zhiwei, this shipment of hospital equipment sent to China, headed to government departments of Guangdong province, is only the first of several shipments planned for the coming months.
“As a company abroad, we must also actively participate in this war of prevention and control of epidemics,” he told Macauhub.
“We are responding to the call from the Chinese government,” the businessman said. “It is necessary to work and to help overcome difficulties together,” he added.
The availability of medical equipment in Portugal, especially masks, is now practically nil in large cities, and scarce even in less populated regions.
Several Chinese entrepreneurs in the country have moved to send material to China, from Portugal and other parts of the world.
The Chinese ambassador in Portugal, Cai Run, has publicly given thanks to Portuguese solidarity, particularly of the Portuguese President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who sent a letter to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
In a letter published via the Portuguese press, Cai Run also mentioned the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, who he thanked for the confidence, “in China’s victory in combating the epidemic.”
“Fraternity is always more evident in difficult times,” said the diplomat.